The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew and Associates [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]

This multi-disc release from the Criterion Collection features four documentaries by director Robert Drew, who had unprecedented access to John F. Kennedy and his presidential administration in the early 1960s. Primary, Adventures on the New Frontier, Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment, and Faces of November stand as compelling examples of Direct Cinema, a style of documentary similar to cinéma vérité. Among the men working with Drew on these films were Richard Leacock, D. A. Pennebaker, and Albert Maysles, all of whom became towering figures in the documentary genre. Extras include audio commentary on "Primary", featuring excerpts from a 1961 conversation between Drew , Leacock, Pennebaker, and film critic Gideon Bachmann.
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Special Features

  • Alternate twenty-six-minute cut of Primary, edited by filmmaker Richard Leacock
  • Audio commentary on Primary, featuring excerpts from a 1961 conversation between Leacock, filmmakers Robert Drew and D.A. Pennebaker, and film critic Gideon Bachmann
  • Robert Drew in His Own Words, a new documentary featuring archival interview footage
  • New conversation between Pennebaker and Jill Drew, general manager of Drew Associates and Robert Drew's daughter-in-law
  • Outtakes from Crisis, along with a discussion by historian Andrew Cohen, author of Two Days in June
  • New conversation about Crisis featuring former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and Sharon Malone, Holder's wife and the sister of Vivian Malone, one of the students featured in Crisis
  • New interview with Richard Reeves, author of President Kennedy: Profile of Power
  • Footage from a 1998 event at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, featuring Drew, Pennebaker, Leacock, and filmmaker Albert Maysles


Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment
This documentary offers an "as it happened" look at one of the crucial standoffs in the history of the American Civil Rights movement, as Alabama Governor George Wallace refuses to desegregate his state's schools in 1963, openly defying the edict of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Directed by Robert Drew, Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment features vintage footage of Wallace and Kennedy, as well as James Hood and Vivian Malone, the two African-American students refused admission to an otherwise all-white school by Wallace. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Adventures on the New Frontier
Faces of November
President Kennedy. An examination of the meaning of President Kennedy's death to those at his funeral. ~ John ?, Rovi

Travel back to the Wisconsin Democratic Primary between Kennedy and Humphrey with this very first candid view of a Presidential primary. ~ Jeaniff Dorset, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy

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